WASHINGTON, DC (June 21, 2017): Health IT Now – a broad-based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers, and payers supporting health information technology to improve patient outcomes – responded today to the proposed rule for implementing the second year of the Quality Payment Program under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).
Health IT Now Executive Director Joel White released the following statement:
“The MACRA proposed rule continues a slow ramp-up of the Quality Payment Program. Health IT Now has always supported implementing MACRA’s alternative payment and care delivery models as soon as possible, but we also recognize that the regulatory structure necessary for achieving these goals won’t be built overnight,” said HITN Executive Director Joel White. “CMS has the difficult task of striking a balance between speed of MACRA implementation and easing compliance burdens for providers. It appears the administration has made a good faith effort to satisfy both concerns. As we saw with early implementation of Meaningful Use, it is better for the administration to move steadily towards the right solution, than move quickly on policies that prove too unwieldy and unworkable or burdensome. We appreciate that CMS appears willing to learn from past missteps as the ramp up of the Quality Payment Program continues.”
White continued, “Health IT Now members are particularly interested in the proposed rule’s language on virtual groups, which we know hold great potential for small and rural providers. As we stated in our letter to HHS earlier this year, Health IT Now urges the federal government to partner with private industry to make this model a success. We know there are many private sector partners who share a desire to see virtual groups get off the ground and have the tools to make that possible. The administration should let industry lead the way, rather than making this a top-down process.”
White concluded, “Finally, Health IT Now notes the proposed rule’s delay in requiring providers to adopt 2015-edition certified EHR technology. While this may ease the regulatory burden for providers and vendors in the short term, a delay without reform is a missed opportunity. If CMS maintains this delay in its final rule, it should use this time to review the certification program to ensure each requirement is integral to supporting providers’ success in the program.”
About Health IT Now: Health IT Now (HITN) is a broad-based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers, and payers that supports incentives to deploy health information technology to improve care, patient outcomes, and to lower costs. Learn more at www.healthitnow.org.